Instant Pot Pumpkin Pasta Bake (Only 5-Ingredients!)

Learn how to make delicious creamy and garlicky Instant Pot pumpkin pasta bake using only 5 ingredients. You can use your favorite pumpkin/winter squash such as Butternut squash or Kabocha squash, depending on the sweetness you prefer. This pasta dish comes together in about 30-35 minutes using the Instant Pot and oven. Enjoy as a quick midweek dinner, when you travel with your Instant Pot and add it to a budget-friendly menu. Vegetarian-friendly!

If you’re looking for easy Instant Pot dinner recipes, this creamy garlic pumpkin pasta bake is a total hit with only 5 main ingredients. It’s vegetarian and budget-friendly, perfect with a side of green salad or steamed veggies.



  • A comforting and satiating dish that is perfect for using up seasonal produce like Butternut squash, Kabocha squash or another type of pumpkin/winter squash. It’s a versatile template kind of recipe! The sweetness of squash cooked till soft integrates into the creamy sauce, giving this dish a wonderful fall flavor. 
  • Using just 5 ingredients makes this baked pasta dinner recipe budget-friendly. You can use any medium-size pasta, starchy vegetable and some cream and cheese. Want to lighten it up? Use low-fat cream and lighter cheese.
  • It’s a great dish for when you’re travelling with your Instant Pot and want to make a delicious dinner without too many ingredients. 

Pumpkin Pasta Bake With Instant Pot



This pasta dish gets a lot of its flavor from the key ingredients and can vary slightly depending on which kind of pumpkin or cheese you use. Here is what you need:

Pumpkin pasta bake ingredients

  • Pasta – medium-sized dry pasta like large shells, penne, fusilli, rotini or ziti will all work well here. 
  • Pumpkin – pumpkin and winter squash are of the same family and are very similar; there are many varieties you can use in cooking and in this recipe. Butternut squash or Kabocha squash are probably the most popular (Kabocha being much sweeter and starchier). We recommend the slightly sweeter varieties. 
  • Cream – you can use heavy/thick cream, half and half, sour cream or light cream here. Cream cheese could also be used! 
  • Cheese – any semi-hard cheese that is suitable for melting will work here: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Tasty, Gruyère, Parmesan or your favorite cheese mix. 

You will also need garlic, salt and pepper. A pinch of nutmeg is always lovely in pasta bakes but is absolutely optional! 

Butternut Squash pasta bake with Instant Pot



You will find the full recipe, ingredients and nutrition info just below. Here are some step-by-step pictures to guide you along.

Step 1. Add pasta, diced pumpkin of choice, salt and half of the chopped garlic to the pot. Pour in the water and stir. 

Step 2. Lock the lid. Cook on High pressure for 4 minutes followed by quick release. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 425 F/ 220 C.

Step 3. Open the lid. Strain excess liquid (it’s okay to leave some of the cooking liquid on the bottom. 

How to make Instant Pot pumpkin pasta bake

Step 4. Stir in the remaining garlic, black pepper and cream. 

Step 5. Transfer the pasta to a deep casserole dish/baking tray and spread the grated cheese on top. 

Step 6. Bake for 10-15 minutes. until the cheese is melted into a light golden crust.

Pumpkin pasta bake with Instant Pot and oven steps


Yes, but we wouldn’t call it a bake then! However, you would simply stir the cheese into the hot creamy pasta right in the Instant Pot and it would become a pumpkin mac’n’cheese instead. Just as delicious!


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Instant Pot Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Instant Pot Pumpkin Pasta Bake (Only 5-Ingredients!)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-5 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot + Oven
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


With only 5-ingredients, this creamy and garlicky Instant Pot pumpkin pasta bake is very delicious and easy to make. You can use your favorite pumpkin such as Butternut squash or Kabocha squash, depending on the sweetness you prefer. This pressure cooker pasta dish comes together in about 30-35 minutes from start to finish. Enjoy as a quick family dinner, when you travel with your Instant Pot and add it to a budget-friendly menu. Vegetarian-friendly!



1011 oz / 300 g pasta shells

1011 oz / 300 g pumpkin (butternut squash or kabocha squash, peeled and diced into large cubes)

3 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 tsp salt

3 cups water

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

250 g Cheddar cheese (2 full cups grated cheese)


  1. Prep. Peel the skin off the squash and cut into large cubes. It will soften quite a lot during cooking so slightly large cubes are more likely to hold shape.
  2. Add ingredients. Add the pasta, diced pumpkin, half of the garlic and salt to the pot. Pour in about 3 cups of water. The water should barely cover the pasta. Give it a quick stir. 
  3. Set & cook. Secure and lock the lid; make sure the pressure handle is pointing to Sealing. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 4 minutes on HIGH pressure. After a few seconds, the ON sign will come on, indicating the pressure is building (you might also hear 3 beeps on some models); pressurizing will take about 10 minutes, and then the 4-minute timer will begin. 
  4. In the meantime, heat the oven to 425 F / 220 C. You can also grate the cheese and prepare the cream. 
  5. Once the timer is done, quick release the pressure. Don’t let it sit on natural pressure release for too long as the pasta will continue to cook during this time and will get too soft. 
  6. Assemble for baking. Open the pot. Most of the water should have been absorbed into the pasta, however, there might still be some liquid which you can strain so the finished bake isn’t too watery.
  7. Add the remaining garlic, black pepper and cream to the pasta and stir through. Transfer to a deep casserole dish or a baking tray and top with grated cheese. 
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes on 425 F / 220 C until the cheese has melted into a light golden crust. Remove from the oven and serve with a side salad or green vegetables. 


  • Pumpkin: You can use any kind of sweet or semi-sweet winter squash/pumpkin in this recipe. Kabocha squash is sweeter and more starchy than say Butternut Squash or other types of winter squashes. 
  • Pasta: you can use any medium-shaped pasta like penne, rigatoni, fusilli or large shells.
  • Cream: You can use half/half or thickened cream, or a lighter version to lower the calories.


  • Serving Size: 2 mini pies
  • Calories: 199
  • Sugar: 9.9 g
  • Sodium: 24.6 mg
  • Fat: 12.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20.2 g
  • Protein: 2.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 31.3 mg

Keywords: Pasta, Pumpkin, Winter Squash, Butternut Squash, Kabocha Squash, Instant Pot, Pasta Bake, Vegetarian



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About Instant Pot Eats: Published by a seasoned food blogger and cookbook author, Irena Macri, and a team of cooking experts and enthusiasts, this blog is dedicated to delicious Instant Pot recipes. We love sharing all food including our favorite stovetop and oven dishes.

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    1. You could, except that you wouldn’t have chunks of pumpkin, it would just become part of the sauce, which could still be quite tasty.

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